Bramblehedge's Hazelnut was due today, and in the beginning everything was looking good. She was pulling fur and ready to deliver.
An hour later, she had delivered 4 dead babies. Two were in the nest box and two were on the wire. I was in the process of trying to dispose of the dead babies in the nest, when Hazel jumped in there. Assuming she was delivering more, perhaps some live babies, I left her alone.
Another hour later, I realized she had been in the box this whole time eating one of her dead babies. Tragically, she didn't deliver anymore and left me with the remains.
Hazelnut will not be bred again. And I doubt I will ever buy another doe. The does that I have raised from birth or from a very young age have had very successful litters. It also depends on the lines, and I know my lines and that that my other does from a line of amazing mamas.
I will buy more bucks to increase my herd, of course. I'm in need of a really nice show buck, and I'll probably buy one in May and another one in August or at ARBA convention.
I somehow always have an abundance of does. Does always dominate my litters. And since my does have shown so well also, I can keep any does I want from my litters, and well as bucks.
Buying a doe is just so risky. You can have no full-proof idea of where she really came from, how her dam and granddam delivered and raised kits. Sometimes even a proven doe won't have another live litter with you just because being moved stressed them out too much.